Friday, November 05, 2010

Who is Stanley N. Salthe; what did he do and say?


Stanley N. Salthe is Professor Emeritus in the Biology Department at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. He is also a Visiting Scientist in Biological Sciences at Binghamton University, and an Associate Researcher at the Center for the Philosophy of Nature and Science Studies of the University of Copenhagen.

Nine years after obtaining his Ph.D in Zoology from Columbia University, Salthe published a textbook on evolution in 1972 entitled 'Evolutionary Biology'.

After more than two decades of further research, Salthe wrote a book published by Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press that argues against the theory of evolution, a theory which he has promoted in his 1972's textbook. In this work, Salthe also observes that the evolution theory is often used as a sort of origin myth by certain fraction of the society, and the fact that this myth is widely politicized:
"[E]volutionary biology's role in our socioculture appears to be primarily to generate believable myths for the skeptic.[...] the dialectic between Darwinian and developmental cosmologies is reflected as well in the deeper aspects of many of our current political problems."
(Stanley N. Salthe, Development and Evolution: Complexity and Change in Biology [USA: MIT Press, 1993], 289-290).
Ten years later, Salthe made a public statement in 2003:
"Darwinian evolutionary theory was my field of specialization in biology. Among other things, I wrote a textbook on the subject thirty years ago. Meanwhile, however I have become an apostate from Darwinian theory and have described it as part of modernism’s origination myth. Consequently, I certainly agree that biology students at least should have the opportunity to learn about the flaws and limits of Darwin’s theory while they are learning about the theory’s strongest claims."
(Emphasis added)
In 2009, through her correspondence with Salthe, Susan Mazur recorded what Salthe told her about the mechanism of natural selection and its relation with macro-evolution:
"Oh sure natural selection's been demonstrated . . . the interesting point, however, is that it has rarely if ever been demonstrated to have anything to do with evolution in the sense of long-term changes in populations. . . . Summing up we can see that the import of the Darwinian theory of evolution is just unexplainable caprice from top to bottom. What evolves is just what happened to happen."
(Susan Mazur, The Altenberg 16: An Exposé of the Evolution Industry [USA: North Atlantic Books, 2010], 21. Emphasis added.)
On 21 February 2006, the NYTimes.com, in an article entitled 'Few Biologists but Many Evangelicals Sign Anti-Evolution Petition', reported that Salthe described himself as an atheist. Now we have a little bit of idea about Stanley N. Salthe.

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